The Quran from a Literary Perspective


  • There are 2 kinds of Beauties zoomed in and zoomed out
  • Zoomed in to look at the beauty of a flower
  • Zoomed out and look at a bunch of flowers in the garden
  • Micro studies and Macro studies
  • Ayah and Surah
  • Ayah is zoomed in beauty
  • Surah is zoomed out beauty
  • Ayah is micro studies
  • Surah is macro studies

Where did Divine Speech come from?

  • To motivate students to learn Arabic
  • To show how beautiful the Quran is
  • Giving examples

The Quran as Literature

  • To re introduce the Quran to us as Literature
  • Literary analysis of the Quran
  • By analyzing Quran in this way it will be taught in Literature dept
  • As Religion Quran is studied to criticize it
  • As Literature Quran will be studied to appreciate it
  • So the world can study the Quran out of curiosity and appreciation

Literary Introduction to the Quran

  • Quran is made of 114 surahs
  • A surah is not a chapter


  • They are in sequence
  • If you go out of sequence you will be lost
  • The subjects do not repeat
  • To be reminded you need to refer to the previous chapter
  • It builds a argument chronologically
  • You cannot re order the chapters
  • There is some sort of order
  • It has a title and the title tells you everything about the chapter 


  • Not in chronological order
  • Not in chapter order
  • Not in size order
  • Not in subject order
  • It has a symmetrical order
  • The title does not tell you everything about the surah

Allah has set His own standard for the Surahs in the Quran

A Surah consists of Ayat

An Ayah is not a verse


  • Used in poetry or songs
  • Used in the bible


  • The Quran is not poetry
  • The Quran is not the Bible
  • It has its own unique meaning
  • An Ayah is not a sentence
  • There are Ayat that are one word
  • One word is not a sentence
  • Ayat has multiple sentences

What is an Ayah?

  • It is one of the most fascinating words in the Arabic language
  • The 3 root letters are hamza, ya, and ya
  • The units of the Quran are Ayat
  • Isa is an Ayah
  • Yusuf and his brothers are Ayat
  • Ayat are parts of people and things
  • The tree, mountain, and history are ayat
  • Inside yourselves are all Ayat
  • Your sleep is an ayah
  • Everything Allah created is an Ayah
  • So What is not an Ayah? The answer is nothing and no one
  • Allah describes an Ayah as all reality
  • Everything in existence is an Ayah

Allah tells you about the winds that blow

The best tafseer of that is when you experience the wind

Allah tells us how the birds fly in the air

The best tafseer of that is looking at the birds in the sky

There is ayat in the Quran and ayat outside the Quran


  • After a traveller camps he picks up his things and continues his journey
  • The traveller takes with him most things
  • Some things that have no value they leave
  • Other things that have value they take with them
  • When other people come they see someone was here
  • When they see the leftovers they see which direction the travellers went

The Meaning of the Ayah

  • Ayat consists of three root letter hamza, ya, and ya
  • Something that is valuable
    • Everything we experience is valuable
    • Every day, problem, and challenge is valuable
    • Every one and thing in existence is valuable
    • Every day and night is valuable
  • Something that makes you curious or ask questions
  • Something that gives you a sense of direction towards Allah
  • Something that is Amazing and it is supposed to make you wonder
    • Those who don’t believe in Allah are never amazed
    • The believer is always amazed and happy
    • Every Ayah is a source of amazement and wonder
  • To get your attention and calling you towards Allah
    • Humans must pay attention to everything around them
    • If you pay attention you learn lessons
    • If you don’t pay attention you learn nothing
  • To convince you that everything is from Allah and certainty
    • The ayah are even to convince you that it is from Allah
    • Heavens and earth have enough Ayah to be convince
  • Meaning
    • Everything has meaning
    • Your life has meaning
    • Your life has purpose
  • To have strong intention and motive and purpose
  • A sign from Allah

The three kinds of Arabic

  1. Spoken Arabic
    1. Used when ordering food today
    2. Used in tv today
    3. It is dialectical
    4. Each region have their own
    5. It changes as it goes
  2. Formal Arabic
    1. Used in newspaper
    2. Used in lectures
  3. Old Arabic (Old Arabic, Ancient Arabic)
    1. The language of the Quran

There are big differences between all three kinds of Arabic

Arabs lived in the desert for many years

They had Romans, Persians, and Abyssians

But everyone left Arabs alone

Arabs had nothing to offer because it was just desert

Oil was not discovered yet

Arabs were left alone

Then Arabs just talked to each other

Arabs were a isolated culture

Arabic became more and more refined with less outside influence

Outside influence effects language

Arabic for thousands of years gets really refined

Like Arabs had their own language

Only Arabs understand no one else from the outside

Arabs produced the world’s greatest language

Arabs really took care of their language

The Story of a Poet

  • This guy was very poor and married
  • His wife complained to him about money
  • So he made a poem to answer his wife
  • In the poem he said Heavy rain is at war against a house of a hill

Explanation of Heavy rain is at war against a house of a hill

  • When there is heavy rain the water goes to the bottom of the hill
  • It floods the bottom
  • It attacks the house but it fails and falls to the bottom
  • The poet is saying wealth comes from Allah
    • But I am a high person
    • When wealth comes to me it leaves me
    • And the wealthy are down there in the flood and the mud

Islam became victorious

Other nations join in

Arabic starts to get outside influence

When foreigners come into the country the local language dies

The worst English spoken in US is NYC because it is the capital of immigration

So Arabic starts to go down

It takes a very short time for language to go down

The Sahaba noticed that Arabic is going down

The Three Movements of Preservation

  • To Protect the Quran
    • Memorized by people in their hearts
  • To Protect Hadith
    • By the same people who memorized the Quran
  • To Protect Arabic
    • To leave the city and go in the desert
    • Trying to capture and record the original language

The Importance of Protecting the Arabic of the desert

  • The Quran came to the Arabic of the desert


  • You have glasses and it has dirt on them
  • When you put on dirty glasses
  • Everything you see looks dirty
  • Then you clean your glasses
  • Then everything becomes clear
  • Old Arabic is clean glasses
  • New Arabic is dirty glasses
  • When you look at a diamond with dirty glasses you see some dirt
  • When you look at a diamond with clean glasses it looks much better

We have to look at the Quran with Old Arabic or Classical Arabic

Classical Arabic died in the Desert

But it is protected so we can dig and find it

It is a history and research study